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Summary[]

The party head to Kew Gardens to find Mendeleev who might know more about the metallic seed. They find that he has gone missing and they head under Kew Mansion, where they are attacked by a swarm of creatures.

Synopsis[]

The next day, the party meet up after a rejuvenating sleep. Hamid mentions that they should look into the seed before they head to Paris, and that Kew Gardens might be the best place to go to find out more about it. They travel there via carriage.

In the mansion of Kew Gardens, they see Colgate wearing a lab coat. Bertie approaches him with the seed, asking if he recognises it. Colgate mentions that Byron is on European constitutional. The party follow Colgate into a greenhouse with some wilted plants, then through to another darkened part of the greenhouse where a giant spider as big as Bertie sits in a large glass cage. A horrible, man sized violet fungus creeps across the inside of another cage.

In another cage there are 6-7 dead lizards which concerns Colgate. Through the next set of double doors is a man behind a desk. Colgate is told by the man that Mendel is not in, although he is clearly lying. Bertie intimidates the man, but he doesn't give them more information. Hamid suggests that Colgate is just here to collect something from Mendel and they head up to his office despite the complaints of the desk clerk. Hamid casts charm person, but fails to affect the man.

As Zolf threatens the desk clerk, he explains that he doesn't know where Mendel is. Colgate asks the clerk why the temperature in the cages are higher than normal, and he explains that the boilers are out of control and Mendel asked them to not tell anyone. Zolf says The Rangers would be happy to look for payment. Colgate pours the clerk a drink, who explains that some people have gone into the basement with the boiler but failed to come back. Mendel had gone down to investigate and hadn't returned. The party convince the clerk that they can help.

The clerk takes them to a freight elevator. When asked, Colgate explains that a plant was in the room with the dead lizards, which are extremely poisonous. The Rangers head down preparing for trouble.

Zolf opens the door to the pitch black basement. They turn on their various lights and hear a faint scratching. It looks like the light fittings have been torn out and they identify that the sounds of scratching are coming from the administration room. The scratching is coming from a gramophone, which Bertie attempts to smash, misses, and knocks it over. They see a half eaten, slightly rotten meal on a table in there.

They continue further into the underground. It is extremely hot and humid. Zolf and Hamid notices that something may have burst out of a vent above them. Bertie, concerned that a mop might be a Mimic, makes sure he destroys it. They open some doors into another room where they see a broken crate on a plinth, with Latin writing on it. The rest of the room is a lab. The far wall is covered in cages, more than half of them appear to have had something burst out of them, although the rest are filled with still figures. The lettering on the box explains that it was a plant found in Peru of unknown origin which grew from 10kg at the start of the 3-6 week travel to 100kg. They follow a trail of blood out of the room.

As they open the next door there's an extremely loud human scream. There is a huge mushroom at the far end of the room emitting the noise, which Hamid casts acid splash on. The mushroom melts and the noise fades, to be replaced by a skittering noise from all around them, especially from the crates. Huge amounts of small creatures erupt from the vents, doors and every crack. They are tiny humanoid forms as tall as a forearm. They swarm the party, driving them apart and taking Brutor down.

Quotes[]

Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Zolf rolls a Fortitude save for his hangover: 25
  • Bertie makes a Handle Animal check with pomp and pageantry to do a three-point turn in a carriage: 19
  • Everyone makes a Perception check: Zolf gets 16, Bertie gets 9, Sasha gets 18, Hamid gets 21
  • Bertie makes a Bluff check: 11
  • Bertie makes an Intimidate check with pomp and pageantry on the man at the desk: 20
  • Hamid casts charm person on the man at the desk, but he makes the Will save. 
  • Everyone makes a Perception check: Zolf gets 20, Bertie gets a nat 20, Sasha gets 19, Hamid’s isn’t said
  • Bertie makes a Power Attack on the gramophone: 1
  • Everyone makes a Perception check: Zolf gets 20, Bertie gets 9, Sasha gets 10, Hamid gets 22
  • Bertie takes 10 to attack the mop
  • Hamid casts acid splash on the mushroom until it melts. 
  • Sasha makes a Perception check to see where the chittering is coming from: 23
  • Zolf casts spark on the mushroom. 
  • Everyone makes a Perception check: Zolf’s roll isn’t said, Bertie gets 12, Sasha gets 17, Hamid gets 16

Combat Breakdown[]

Initiative: Swarm 1, swarm 2, Sasha (17), Bertie (16), Zolf (15), Hamid (12)

Round 1

  • Swarm 1: The tiny creatures swarm together and charge into the party. They deal 7 damage to everyone but Brutor. Everyone makes a DC 14 Fortitude save to resist the distraction affect, Sasha gets 8, Bertie gets 14, Zolf gets a nat 1 & Hamid's also fails the save, and everyone but Bertie is nauseated. Zolf damages his mace in the panic, and takes -4 on all mace attacks until he gets it unstuck.
  • Swarm 2: Another swarm of tiny creatures enters from the door the Rangers just came through.
  • Sasha: Is nauseated. She staggers away from the swarm, and puts her back to the wall.
  • Bertie: Moves out of the swarm and attempts a Power Attack, missing on a 12.
  • Zolf: Is nauseated. He moves away from the swarm and drops his mace.
  • Hamid: Is nauseated. He heads into a corner away from the swarm.

Round 2

  • Swarm 2: Swarms over Brutor, knocking him out.

Trivia[]

  • The party refers to the scientist at Kew Gardens interchangeably as Mendel and Mendeleev. Given the botanical focus of Kew, he is likely based on Gregor Mendel, the founder of the modern genetics, but is being confused with Dmitri Mendeleev, a famous 19th century chemist.
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